It will be a busy day for players and an exciting one for spectators, as quarter-final and semi-final matches take centre stage on Saturday at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.
The quarterfinal matches which were scheduled for Friday, but suspended due to downpour, will be completed on Saturday, after which the winners move into the semi-finals to battle for a place in Sunday’s final.
In the women’s field, Sada Nahimana, Fanny Ostlund and Riya Bhatia are already into the last four, having completed their respective quarter-final matches on Friday.
Nahimana will take on 3-time ITF Tour champion, Fanny Ostlund from Sweden. Nahimana, Africa’s No. 1 junior player, is looking to clinch her maiden title on the ITF World Tour. The talented Burundian has had a fine year on the Pro Circuit, making a deep run in Antalya, Turkey before posting back-to-back final showings in Nairobi, Kenya in August. This week in Lagos, the 18-year-old has played impressively, working her way to the semis without surrendering a set. Can she maintain the momentum?
On Court 3, 5th seed, Riya Bhatia of India, who knocked out 2nd seed, Sandra Samir in the quarter-finals, will be waiting to face either Brazil’s Laura Pigossi or her countrywoman, Rutuja Bhosale for a place in the final. Pigossi was 7-5, 4-3 up before play was suspended.
In the men’s field, Takanyi Garanganga is the only player who’s already into the last four. The Zimbabwean earned a walkover after top seed, Skander Mansouri withdrew from their quarter-final contest due to illness. The 2015 finalist will now face his compatriot Mehluli Sibanda in the semifinals, that’s provided Sibanda beats Frenchman, Calvin Hemery. That’ll be some task though, given he was trailing the Frenchman 3-1 in the first set before rain interrupted. Hemery and Sibanda open play on Centre Court.
In the other quarter-final match, 6th seed and 2015 champion, Aldin Setkic led No. 2 seed, Aziz Dougaz 2-1 having broke early, and will look to remain ahead when play resumes. That will be on Court 1. Should Setkic prevail, then he will take on either Aryan Goveas or No. 4 seed, David Pichler for a place in Sunday’s final. Goveas and Pichler were just a point into their match before the rain.
Matches begin by 9:30am Saturday morning at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan.